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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  July 11, 2011 1:00pm-2:00pm EDT

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i will not sign a 30-day or a 60-day or 90-day extension. that is just not an acceptable approach. if we think it's hard now, imagine how these guys are going to be thinking six months from now many the middle of election season when they're all up. it's not going to get easier. it's going to get harder. so we might as well do it now. pull off the band-aid. eat our peas. >> right now on "andrea mitchell reports," the president tells congress it's time to eat their vegetables. he will veto any short-term deal to get past the crisis. he will meet every day until they have a deal. there's trouble on all sides. house democrats rebel. the speak of of the house caves in to republican opposition for no tax increases now or in the future. we'll talk to the budget committee chairman and an economist. the road to 2012 michele bachmann pulls ahead in iowa. well fellow minnesotan tim pawlenty takes a swing at her
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record. after months of violence in syria, a huge escalation today as the state department excuses the government of encouraging a mob attack against the u.s. embassy in the maas cus. we'll be talking exclusively with foreman british prime minister tony blair. good day i'm andrea mitchell live in washington. the president's veto threat puts it ail one the line. no short-term deal to stave off default. battle lines are drawn. kelly o'donnell joins us from the capitol. let's talk about the pressure on the speaker of the house. he caved in saturday night after pressure from eric cantor his number two. >> eric cantor is just telling reporters here that republicans did not come to office in washington to raise taxes. cantor says that the president wants a trillion dollars in new taxes. they think that they can only move forward if changes in the
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tax structure would be revenue neutral. that's a tough sell. speaker boehner was praised by the president today. that was notable. the president saying he has acted in good faith and he's a good man. the nice ways of putting speaker boehner in perhaps a tougher box among the tea party republicans and some of the newer members of his caucus who have been perhaps the hardest to wrangle and predict in terms of how the leadership can line up with their own votes. the issue is tax. gop aides i've talked to say if the president wans a a deal that will go beyond the 2012 election they can do that, but can't include tax increases. how do you define taxes? there has been some talk of trying to rework some of the code, but that doesn't seem like something that they can get done quickly. the president of course tried to give more definition today to what a tax increase would mean saying nobody's talking about immediate tax cuts. he was putting it in the category of 2013 and beyond and made a reference to himself saying beth-selling authors
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should not be off the hook in paying more. >> thanks so much, kelly. i know you're going to be on top of it throughout the day. so of course the the budget chairman ken conrad joining us now. senator, i know these talks are going to continue every day the president says. what is the point at this stage if the speaker of the house has no running room to do a long-term deal and if in fact, there are problems on the democratic side, let's be frank on the house side with nancy pelosi when it gets to entitlements what's the point of talking every day and should the president be saying that he will veto any short-term arrangement? >> andrea it is important to talk every day because that's the only way that you establish any momentum or consistency. after hundreds of hours of these negotiations myself in the fiscal commission many the group of six, one thing that's clear unless you stay focused, unless you stay on it and you're persistent nothing happens.
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i believe there is a way forward. the way forward is tax reform that actually reduces tax rates but does produce some more revenue because the economy is more efficient. we're more competitive. and we do away with some of the loopholes, the shelters, the exclusio exclusions, the preferences that now riddle the tax code. >> a lot of that was discussed by the biden group and we're talking about returning to that format, but some democrats say that the biden plan wouldn't even pass the senate. do you have 06 votes for the biden plan? >> no. i think -- look it's interesting that in the senate i believe there is support among democratings and republicans for the so-called bibb deal at least $4 trillion that's what it takes to fundamentally change our fiscal condition and get us moving in the right direction. but it does require both sides to give ground. it does require savings on the entitlement side of the ledger and revenue side of the ledger.
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after all revenues are the lowest they have been in 6 o0 years as a share of our national income. so those who say it's only spending they've got it half right because we do need to come spending. we to find a way to get more revenue out of a system that is hemorrhaging revenues to offshore tax havens, abusive tax shelters and tax expenditures who many of the best economists in the country including chairman greenspan including other distinguished economists of a conservative viewpoint have said is spending just under a different name. >> but, at this point if we do come up short, if there isn't enough votes either for the biden plan or the bibb plan and we're approaching august 2nd, do you think the president is correct as he said today to say he will veto any 30-day or 90-day extension to avoid default? >> i do at this point. i think it's critically important to keep the pressure on both sides not to settle for
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just getting by, just kicking the can down the road. but in fact, to go for what we all know the country needs which is the big deal. $4 trillion of deficit reduction to get our debt going down to put america on a stronger fiscal foundation going forward. that's really what's required. i believe it's still achievable. but we've got to change a little bit about how we talk about these things on both sides. >> you said at this point you think the president is right to threat tn veto. what if it's august 1st at midnight and approaching august 2nd, the markets are clamoring, would you still say that a short-term extension and continued talks are not the best option? >> you're a very good reporter. you pick up on nuance, don't you? >> we try. >> i don't want to bargain against my position. so i think it's critically important that the president continue to push for what we all
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know the country really needs. it's incumbent on both sides, on both sides to come together and do what's right for america. >> chairman conrad thank you very much. good to see you. >> good to see you. >> the big question looming over all of this and the debt talks is what will happen if a deal is not reached by the rsh rye deadline. tim geithner said it would be catastrophic despite denials from tea party leaders like jim demint. >> we're not going to defall. we've got the money. the only way we will default is if secretary geithner and the president choose to default. they're required by law to pay our bills. they're required by law to pay social security and medicare. >> it's irresponsible. this is not something that tim
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geithner is making up. >> we have the chief economist of moody's and littings. who's right on this? is there a real deadline? is jim demint right that there's plenty of money and the president could spend it on the obligations of the u.s.? >> he's right that the u.s. government won't default on the debt. we have enough cash to do that. but that's irrelevant. to make those debt payments the treasury's going to have to cut orkinds of spending very dramatically. very dramatically that it will push the economy into recession. that would cost tax revenues and tax payers. ultimately global investors would panic they would begin to ask themselves how long can i get paid if for example, social security recipients aren't getting their full check. he's technically right. the reality of it is that it would be catastrophic. >> what about the credit rating? >> the create rating would be in
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jeopardy. moody's s&p, fitch all the credit rating agencies have said in the next couple of weeks if there's no significant progress brpt to the debt ceiling negotiations, they'll put the debt unders review for a downgrade. if we get into early august then the likelihood of a downgrade becomes very real. i think that's very likely. >> and the im% of a downgrade on interest rates? >> they'll rise. it doesn't matter. global investors are going to start to lose faith pretty soon they're going to demand a higher interest rate to compensate themselves for the risk that they're taking. so interest rates will rise significantly. stock prices will fall. the economy will be in recession. >> is the president right to say that he would veto any short-term deal. that was the major news out of today's news conference that he's not going to settle for something that small that he really think it's time to resolve these issues once and for all. >> i think it's appropriate to go for the $4 trillion in deficit reduction over ten
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years. i think that's very doable. i think it has to come through spending cuts, tax expenditure cuts from my perspective and most economists perspective is no different than cutting spending. if you reduce as senator conrad was saying if you eliminate deductions in tax code that's the same thing as cutting spending. they're one in the same thing. we're in a debate over semantics. the reality is we need to do for this. that's the appropriate policy course at is point. >> will the crit ratings services and others the markets take this seriously if it's down the road? if it's phased in after 2012 or 2013? what do you all have to see to know that it has some teeth and it's sustain snbl. >> i think we have $4 trillion in deficit reduction over ten years say 2/3, 3/4 of which is
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spending cuts another 1/3 or 1/4 is tax expenditures or tax revenue increases that would be credible. i think investors would like that, rating agencies would like that. that would be enough to lay the foundation for a good solid, growing economy. >> thank you so much. up next, middle east hot spots with former british prime minister tony blair our special guest. send me your thoughts on twitter. this is "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc.
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former british prime minister tony blair is in washington today for critical talks on reviving middle east peace negotiations. palestinians are expected to be asking the united nations to officially recognize their state in september. this after a controversial trip here by israel's prime minister
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in may. we are joined by tony blair representative of the quartet negotiating middle east peace. the key talks tonight at the state department. first of all, there are some suggestions in israel that your group, the quartet is going to endorse president obama's position of the 1967 borders with some adjustments, some land swaps. is that a likely outcome? that is a great concern in israel. at least the prime minister of the mx there feels that this will be counter to their interest and the peace process? >> i think everyone is trying to find a way forward in advance of september. that's important is we get direct new yorks revived. that should be done on the basis of the speech that president obama made. most people are going to accept the principals set out there. there's going to be a by sis for the parties to resolve those issues and get their back around the table and get there as soon as possible.
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that is preferable to anything that could happen by way of unilateral action. >> the british -- the israeli prime minister has been so resistant to any of the suggestions coming frothis white house. it seems as though the tension between the white house and israel have really hit a peak. it's a very difficult visit here. >> sometimes what happens is that you have these visits that can be very difficult. everyone takes stock and decides how do we move forward? i think there is a general acceptance that whatever happens now is going to be based around 67 borders. there's going to be changes. you can't go exactly back to that because of the changes that have happened on the ground that's why this language about agreed land swaps is in there. so i think in some ways that is something that we can resolve and find a way forward on. but then you've got the other issues, security, jerusalem refugees they're all difficult.
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what we are going to try and do over this coming period of time and tonight's meeting is a chance to take stock is there a basis where here's a set of principles that can help guide the negotiation and allow us to take this israeli-palestinian issue which is of central importance to the whole of the middle east and get it in a different and better place. >> how can this issue be resolved at a time when so much has changed? the landscape is completely different and only today in syria mobs according to the u.s. spurred on by government-sponsored television and permitted to proceed by the government attack the u.s. embassy, breach the embassy, attack the residents. we're talking about violations of the vee yaen na agreements. >> absolutely. and it's appalling. how does it impact on the israeli-palestinianian issue? as a result of all this uncertainty many the region, change in egypt, instability in syria and so son and the region
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as a whole how can we make peace? on the other hand, there are significant numbers of people who both on the israeli side and palestinian side say as a result of all this uncertainty in the region now is the time for us to give some certainly and some shape to the two-state solution, the state of israel what is secure, viable and sovereign state of palestine. otherwise this despite risks getting caught up in the instability in the region. curiously i think at one point because of all the changes in the region this is tougher. at another point there's an opportunity and necessity for us to move it forward. >> before i let you go, americans are completely swept away with the young british royal couple and the first visit to the united states and they're sort of british mania here in the states. >> that's good. we like that. >> we're also following this incredible tabloid scandal which has swept up rupert murdoch a huge player here a wl as
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globally. murdoch has returned to the uk and having to make some changes in his bid for sky tv. how is this possible? we have tabloids here and sometimes they're outrageous and over the top, but this is a violation of the law this hacking scandal, what is your take on that? >> the particular allegations are often absolutely terrible. particularly in relation to really sensitive cases of people having their phones hacked into and so on. the sensible thing is there's going to be an inquire which will cover these different issues to do with the stand address and media and it's sensible. i've been calling for this for a number of years. i think if we do it in the right way we can have a sensible, rational debate that recollects the necessary dreedom of the press but allows that to be done in a way with some sense of spoblity as well. >> former prime minister tony
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blair trying to get the middle east peace talks revived and a huge challenge, but we thank you very much. great to see you. up next, pawlenty versus bachmann. the battle of the minnesota twins. politico's john harris joining politico's john harris joining us next. [ male announcer ] the network -- a network of possibilities. in here, the planned combination of at&t and t-mobile would deliver our next generation mobile broadband experience to 55 million more americans, many in small towns and rural communities, giving them a new choice. we'll deliver better service,
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use caution before driving or operating machinery. for more help putting distance between you and your depression, ask your doctor about adding seroquel xr. if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help. iowa has a new front runner today. michele bachmann has overtaken mitt romney. in a new poll conducted for the iowan republican she leads with 25% of the vote to romney's 21%. pawlenty trailing at 9%. opening her iowa headquarters this weekend bachmann fired up her campaign for the iowa straw poll next month. >> how many of you can fill a car, a bus, a wagon, a train, a sleigh, get your skis on, get your roller skates on, get your skies skates on, but get to the straw poll in ames, iowa. >> john harris is politico's ed
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tore in chief. we got the message about getting to the straw poll. take a look at tim pawlenty on "meet the press." >> i like congresswoman bachmann. i've campaigned for her. her record of accomplishment in congress is nonexistent. we're not looking for folks who just have a speech capabilities. we're looking for people who can lead a large enterprise in a public setting and drive it to conclusion. i have that and she hasn't. >> he was really ramping it up. that was a noteworthy response. >> you're right. that was a real grenade an unmistakable one that i do think reflects governor pawlenty's one his frustration at the way she has his fellow minnesotan has sucked up so much of his oxygen and also a calculation that he's got to start making it up a little bit if he's going to penetrate and man tan in the top tier of presidential candidates. at the moment her cam bigss are
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to some degree at odds with his particularly in iowa. >> he's already stumbled, if you will, by pulling his punches against romney many the new hampshire debate. now he seems to be trying to show he has the toughness to keep it up on the campaign trail. >> there's a sense of ambivalence that governor pawlenty has about how tough to be against his rival republicans. we had him here in licko a couple of weeks ago. we have to say kind of baiting him a little bit to say what he thought about bachmann. >> i can't imagine you doing that. >> every once in a while we do indulge. it didn't work. he said we're friends. i've got nothing negative to say about congresswoman bachmann.
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i've been interested in watching him go back and forth in terms of how tough to be. >> we're all dialing it up for the ames, iowa, poll. the straw poll is august 13th or so. we'll see how that develops. thank you very much. up next right here, the u.s. cutting the pursestrings to pakistan. we'll get reaction from senator bob casey. . and we expect to hear from house speaker john boehner just moments from now on the debt talks. we'll bring those comments to you live when they happen. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports.". there's a nurse who can access in an instant every patient's past. and because the whole hospital's working together, there's a family who can breathe easy, right now. somewhere in america, we've already answered some of the nation's toughest healthcare questions. and the over 60,000 people of siemens
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pakistan's military was embarrassed and angered by the raid that killed osama bin laden right in their front yard. pakistan the furious about a more aggressive cia presence in their country kicking out u.s. intelligence officials who were based there. senator won casey its on the foreign relations committee. it seems to me like things have gone from bad to worse with admiral mullen now saying being the first u.s. official to publicly say that the pakistan military and the government were directly involved in the murder of pakistani journalist. >> andrea it's extraordinary when you have someone at the level that admiral mullen is. someone who's worked very hard developing a strong relationship for him to say that their government sanctioned this murder is an sbroird statement to make. i think it's indicative of how bad things have gotten.
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i think american tax payers expect accountability for the dollars and the evidence that they're hepping us fight terrorism whenever we find it. there's some good ed over the years. lately we've had a lot of bad news. we've got to be direct and honest and demand this kind of accountability. >> the angry they seem to be and the less cooperation we get. if we're now withholding this aid are they going to turn to china? where are think going to get the money? >> i'm not sure. some have diagnosed that might be overstating it a bit. there's going to be anger and tension. they need to understand that we need accountability both for the evidence that they're helping us all the time fighting terrorism as well as evidence that we're getting our money's worth. i raised this issue with secretary clinton where i talked about the certification that she has to make that they're helping us on terrorism so she can
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certify that we should give them aid. this is a difficult relationship. we've got to get it right in some measure of honesty and frankly some indication they're not going to get a blank check i think is important to develop a relationship which is very important for our fight against terrorism. >> do you agree with the decision to withhold the aid? >> i do. i think it's an appropriate step. i think the administration's got to think more strategically about this. we can debate how they went about it. this is the right decision. some of the people that are most angry about this by the way are pakistani americans. people that i talked to around the country who are as frustrated as americans which have connections to pakistan. they're frustrated by what the pakistani government has done or not done to better cooperate with us and to help us fight against terrorism. one thing i've tried to -- help us pass a ban to help troops protect our own troops. >> and with apologies to you,
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i'm going to interrupt because speaker of the house john boehner has come in. we want to hear his response to the president. thank you very much, senator. and is necessary in order to solve it. most americans would say a balanced approach is a simple one. but the administration gets its debt limit increase and the american people get their spending cuts and their reforms. and adding tax increases to the equation doesn't balance anything. the american people understand that tax hikes destroy jobs. the last thing we should be doing right now at a time of 9.2% unemployment is enacting more government policies that will destroy jobs. what the american people want is for us to work together to remove government barriers that are getting in the way of job
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creation and real economic growth. two of the biggest obstacles to job growth that we face are out of control entitlement spending and the current tax code. i think the fundamental questions are this, can you control government spending without fundamentally reforming intimatements? i think the answer is no. do you need to raise taxes in order to get control of spending? i think the answer is no. if you want to see an increase in government revenues, then let's grow the economy and create jobs, broaden the tax base and lower rates. senator rubio said last week, we don't need more taxes, what we need are more tax payers. so our disagreement with the president is not about closing loopholes. none of us are fond of loopholes. our disagreement is over the the idea of raising taxes on people that we're asking to create jobs
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in our country. i would agree with the president that the national debt limit must be raised. i'm glad he made the case for it today. but the american people will not accept in and the house cannot pass a bill that raises taxes on job creators. the house could only pass a debt limit bill that includes spending cuts larger than the hike in the debt limit as well as real restraints on future spending. my colleagues and i believe we should enact a balanced budget amendment to keep the federal government from spending us into the same situation again is i think we also need real reductions in spending right now and spending caps to ensure that any progress that we make is not undone in the future. listen, i agree with the president we cannot allow our nation to default on our debt. but to prevent a default a bill must pass the congress. and a bill that doesn't meet
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these tests can't pass the house of representatives. this is the message we will take again to the white house today. and hope that we can work our way through this. >> i do think whatever agreement we come to is going to have to pass the house and senate on a bipartisan basis? >>. [ inaudible ] ? as the speaker takes question we want to bring in democratic strategist who served for eight
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years in the clinton white house and is a founding partner of the global park group and an advisor on boehner. let me ask you first, you know john boehner well. that was an unusual saturday night statement where he pulled the plug on the giant deal, the larger $4 trillion deal that he had brought to the white house and basically indicated that he didn't have the votes for it. he said that right now that they don't have the votes for anything. has he been ham strung by eric cantor some say nipping at his heels? >> cantor and boehner have been working very closely together on this. where the real problem has emerged is the president says within that big package he wants a trillion dollars of tax increases. the problem for john boehner and the rest of the republican leadership is basically they believe that if you increase taxes like that it's going to
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have a contractionry effect on the economy. this is what they believe they believe the president is asking to pour gasoline on the fire. >> it's a matter of definition. they're talking about taxes down the road. they're talking about repealing the bush tax cut. 2013 or later. they're not talking about increasing taxes on people right now in the middle of a downturn or in the middle of a slowing recovery. >> that's not clear. he's talking about a trillion dollars worth of tax increases. that's a significant amount. on top of the fact that his health care plan that the president just passed is going to increase taxes a whole bunch as well and so i think what you're dealing with in terms of the relationship leadership is the president is asking them to take an act that they fundamentally believe is the going to create jobs. what john boehner is saying that is simply not going to get
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through the house. >> michael feldman, what about the problems on the democratic side with nancy pelosi facing herself and others an open rebelon from democrats who said they did not want to see medicare in this mix? >> the president is willing to step up and take some political risk to get something meaningful done. i think the speaker very badly wants this deal. i think he wants to go big, i just don't think he has the power to get it done. he's in a very difficult political position. the factions in the republican party have drawn an arbitrary line in the sand to protect millionaires and billionaires. speaker boehner who wants to moovr forward can't. the question over the weekend is who wears the pants in the republican party, it appears as though eric cantor and michele bachmann do. >> i've got to jump in on that one. when the president puts a trillion dollars on the table in
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terms of tax increases john boehner wants a larger deal. he can't do it with what he believes will hurt the economy. the key question facing this country is where are the jobs. the whole point is to create an economy that in fact is going to allow us to answer the question. right now the president's proposal which is why the speaker backed off on it includes so much in terms of tax increases john boehner believes it is going to hurt the economy. >> in a first time in a decade we actually have a chance to get something big done. the president said i'm willing to take the heat on the democratic side of the aisle. andrea, there may be some people in my own party who are dead set against this. i'm willing to put that on the table. we have a unique opportunity. this requires shared sacrifice. the president said i'm in. speaker boehner said i'll have to check and get right back to you and he came back to the table and said i can't do it.
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you heard him acknowledge he doesn't have the votes. >> i have to say -- there's a deal here, the problem is what the speaker sees is it's not a deal. you're going to hurt the economy. that's not a good deal. he's saying, no. >> what happens to this economy if we don't get a deal done? what happens if we don't take this historic opportunity? >> we heard the speaker say i want to get a deal done. >> we're going to have to leave it there. you guys are going to have to go eat your peas, eat your vegetables and we'll come up and see if they come one a deal. great to see you both. mpbls up next a provocative "newsweek" cover with guess who.
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tractor-trailer causing a mass i have explosion. one person is dead. several others are injured. plus, some same-sex couples who were married in massachusetts are getting a little extra in their paychecks. the reason's why coming up at 2:00. sarah palin says she still has months to decide on whether or not to run for president. and she's not reluctant to talk about it in the meantime in a new "newsweek" cover story. she says she can win in 2012 if she wants to. thanks so much peter for being with us. do you get the feeling that she's posturing or giving sort of her exit strategy explaining that she could win it if she wanted to, but she's not in it or do you think she's really still possibly considering a race? >> to be honest with you i think she's still thinking about it. she makes the case she's in alaska. she has another month of jury duty to do. unless she gets dismissed from
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the pool. and so she couldn't be doing anything for the next month anyway. i do think when she goes out in the world and sees the response of this substantial and quite passionate group of folks the palin base, basically, i think i could palpably see that evening i spent with her she is uplifted and she makes as compelling a case for herself and her own political viability as any of the declared candidates. i think she actually is thinking about it, which is slightly different thing from whether or not she is actually going to do it. >> of course, the space that she might have taken has been occupied by the michele bachmann flurry in iowa. michele bachmann is raising money and showing in organization and doing the things you have to do to run for president. vary pa palin showing in her bus
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trip they had difficulty in organizing it and getting the thing going. she can get attention, but can she run a campaign? >> well that's a good question. i mean, there exists a sphere, a palin sphere which is almost inpenetrable. inside of which she enjoys almost complete freedom. i mean utter freedom to sort of keep to no schedule but her own and to go where she wants to go when she wants to go and to be fairly certain that the press will show up when she arrives. her husband, todd, plays the role of gate keeper. she's very consideratable in that. that is a very different thing than running a campaign with its rigid schedules and having to deal with people like us. i think she's very comfortable with the palin sphere now. it's difficult to imagine her abandoning it for the rigors of the campaign. >> good point.
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peter boyer "newsweek" is the cover. thank you very much. what political story will be making headlines in the next 24 hours. that's next on "andrea mitchell reports." [ male announcer ] this is lisa, who tries to stay ahead of her class. morning starts with arthritis pain... that's two pills before the first bell. [ bell rings ] it's time for recess... and more pills. afternoon art starts and so does her knee pain, that's two more pills. almost done, but hang on... her doctor recommended aleve because it can relieve pain all day with just two pills. this is lisa... who switched to aleve and fewer pills for a day free of pain. and get the all day pain relief of aleve in liquid gels. you know that comes with a private island. really? no. it comes with a hat. you see, airline credit cards promise flights for 25,000 miles, but... [ man ] there's never any seats for 25,000 miles. frustrating, isn't it? but that won't happen with the capital one venture card. you can book any airline anytime.
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the white house has now announced that first lady michelle obama is representing the first family at funeral services in california tomorrow for former first lady betty ford who died at the age of 93. she was an outspoken and controversial first lady endorsing the equal rights amendment and abortion rights and causing problems for her husband who was amused by her candor. and then she was also spreading a message about her breast cancer and mastectomy after weeks of moving into the white house and then the struggle with
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alcohol and drug addictions which led to the creation of the betty ford center for substance abuse. and now anne thompson is here to talk about betty ford. you have been writing and talking about her legacy, and she did change the dynamic for women around the country, and for not only self-diagnosis, but women going in to see the doctors and talking openly about their breast cancer. >> absolutely. and she was a perfect reflection of her times, andrea, because you have the remember that the fords came into the white house after the era of watergate, and americans wanted more openness from the government and can ddo and boy did they get it with betty ford in ways that the country did not expectment when she revealed she had a radical mastectomy of six weeks of taking office, that is the first turn. the american cancer society said that in the week that followed they saw an increase of anywhere from four to ten times in questions from people about cancer and about what to look
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for. women lined up to get ma'mmogras and people started to talk about these diseases and today on the blogs she is remembered as the patron saint of breast cancer and lauded because did the one thing that all people of breast cancer wanted to do and that is to live a long life, and she had 37 years after the surgery. andrea. >> and she suffered from heart disease and other problems along the way, but she was actively engaged and such a partner to her husband, and the other thing about what she did and what we shouldn't forget is what gerry ford did, the two of them getting together with a photo opportunity at the bethesda naval hospital after the surgery changed the dynamic of how women and men and husbands and partners and boyfriends dealt with this disease as well. >> absolutely. you know, she said in her autobiography after she had the
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mastectomy he came to bethesda and he had a nurse watch her bathe herself, because she wanted him to see how her body had changed, and she didn't want him to be afraid of it. she was not afraid of it. and the other thing she said about their relationship is that she said, look, if it had been him and he lost a leg, i wouldn't have left him, and i didn't expect that he would leave me just because i had a mastectomy, and she said, there was no way we could ever leave each other, and it is a real testament to their relationship. >> it was an extraordinary marriage and extraordinary partnership. she was not -- she was thrust into it as he was into the white house, and accidental vice president, and accidental president and first lady, and just a lasting legacy. that will honored and remembered. >> and absolutely and we are all better for it and breast cancer survivors and people with addictions now have a way the
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deal with these issues and treat these issues because of betty ford's honesty, and it was not political calculus, but it was simply her being her. what an extraordinary life. >> thank you so much, anne thompson, as we honor betty ford and the services in california tomorrow and the burial in grand rapids next to her husband on thursday. that is going to do it for us on this edition of "andrea mitchell reports" and my own personal 24, happy 94th birthday to sid mitchell. and also secretary of state william cohen, and we will have a talk with him tomorrow. and here is a look at what is coming up on "newsnation" with thomas roberts. thomas? >> here is what is coming up, andrea. president obama is about to go behind closed doors with vice
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president biden and can they come up with a debt deal? and in syria, a loyal group of people attacked in damascus, and now a state department lashing out to accuse syria of not protecting that embassy. "newsnation" begins this three minutes so don't go anywhere. er] [ grunting ] huh? [ male announcer ] should've used roundup. america's number one weed killer. it kills weeds to the root, so they don't come back. guaranteed. weeds won't play dead, they'll stay dead. roundup. no root. no weed. no problem. these wheat thins crunch stix will save us. [ crunch ] look! [ male announcer ] wheat thins crunch stix. try our new flavors.
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hi, everybody, i'm thomas roberts in for tamron hall. the "newsnation" is following developing news right now. right now president obama and the top two leaders of the party of the house and the senate are scheduled for the next round of crucial talks aimed for reducing the deficit and raising the debt ceiling by the august 2nd deadline. it is the third such session. the president said he will continue to push for a long-term deal to continue the cut the deficit by $4 trillion, but the one thing he won't accept a short-term solution. >> i will not sign a 30-day or a